As a medical professional ensuring all aspects of the practice including any answering service you may use are up to HIPPA regulations is important. Too often live call center types of options are not HIPPA compliant answering service companies, leaving you potentially at risk.
The vast majority of answering services catering to the medical professional do not provide training to their staff about HIPPA regulations. They may say they are a HIPPA compliant answering service, and perhaps a supervisor has taken training, but the actual people dealing with your patients are not.
In some cases, and this is very concerning, the answering service itself may not even be aware they need to be a HIPPA compliant answering service. They simply treat medical calls as any other call, not providing the required level of privacy of information.
What Is Protected?
As you know, a HIPPA compliant answering service has to keep all patient information private and secure. This means phone numbers, names, medical information and any specific symptoms or health issue the patient may be experiencing at the time of the call.
With a live person answering serviced notes may be made of the phone call detailing this type of information. The person taking the call may also be unaware of HIPPA requirements and may share this information, clearly creating a violation.
With an automated system, you can have a fully HIPPA compliant answering service. The service will need to include additional security protection, but this is not difficult to have in place to provide the level of compliance required.
Ask About HIPPA Compliance
If you are debating about the use of a live person or an automatic HIPPA compliant answering service make sure you take the time to ask about specific issues with HIPPA. Don’t accept a general comment the company is compliant, ask about how they are compliant and if they maintain and create their own software or if it is developed by a third-party, another possible concern for a breach in patient security and privacy.
The reality is that an automated system using service software is easier to maintain and use as a fully HIPPA compliant answering service than one with live people. This is particularly true when the answering service isn’t designed just for medical offices and when people hired by the service are not fully HIPPA trained.
Our No More Phone Tag automatic system is a HIPPA compliant answering service at an affordable price.